Closure: “Embrace and creative fidelity”. Sister Lodovica’s testimony

Clausura: Lodovica’s journey

To “move” sister Lodovica32 years old, nun of Monastery of the Most Holy Redeemer of Scala (SA) «a restlessness of the heart». «Ever since I was a child I have had the desire to help others» – she tells our microphones on the occasion of Pro Orantibus day. Although “it wasn’t immediately clear how to implement it, I have always tried to fight to achieve it in the right way”.

So, after having volunteered in a family home alongside disabled children, Lodovica decides at the age of 17 to try to enter the Naval Academy of Livorno. He dedicates himself “body and soul to achieving this goal, thinking that with a uniform, and becoming someone, I could help anyone in need”. But that’s not the right way. The psychological tests speak for themselves: “personality unsuitable for military life”.

The young woman does not give up. On the contrary, she immediately sets out to look for a new means to get to the longed-for goal. «It was precisely in Livorno that I thought of enrolling in the Faculty of Nursing Sciences. Not because I didn’t aim high and didn’t think about doing medicine, but simply because I thought I wanted to touch people’s suffering more closely. To be more in contact with the patient. But while I thought I had to touch the smallness and fragility of the other, during the internship I realized that I was touching my own fragility more and more».

Closure: the turning point

Then, in 2011, the turning point through a “beautiful experience”: the World Youth Day in Madrid. Lodovica radically changes his way of thinking thanks to a sentence pronounced by the bishop of Rimini: “With Christ and without Christ everything changes”.

«Since then I understood that I could really make this wish come true if I no longer leveraged my strength. I could be of help to the other if I placed myself in God’s hands. If I placed this desire in his heart. I understood that I had to seek God, understand where he was calling me, where he wanted my life to go.

I began to research, to keep an ear attentive to all the initiatives, to any message that arrived. I was there, waiting. I was certain that God would show me the way”.

Closure: It flies only who dares to do it

«One day I read in a diocesan newspaper about some meetings of the Youth Ministry which had the title It flies only who dares to do it. It struck me so much that I wanted to go to that place: the Scala Redemptorist Monastery. I arrived for the first time and met these sisters full of joy. It was the same joy I had experienced hearing those words at WYD. I understood that there was something that linked that event to what I was experiencing.

Sister Lodovica, novice, 2015

I decided to return to that Monastery. Not just once, but twice, three times…as I left I was carrying a great nostalgia with me. I continued to study, but my head was always there until I asked to have a more concrete experience».

Thus Lodovica enters the Monastery “whose charism is that of being a living memory of Christ” in 2014. In 2017 her temporary profession, in 2020 the solemn one. «What helped me to choose the contemplative life is having experienced the power of prayer. I understood that I would never be able to help with my hands, prayer without borders would arrive where even I would have imagined. And this enlarged my heart, it gave me so much joy, it made me feel fulfilled and I fulfilled that basic desire to be able to help others».

Enclosure: the arms that welcome

Therefore the cloister is not synonymous with closure. On the contrary «we always say that the walls of the Monastery are arms that welcome people and raise them towards God. Closure is an embrace, a tool to carve out time for God. It is absolutely not something that divides people. In reality, our spirituality is that of being a living memory of the Redeemer, that is, of showing the welcoming face of Christ. So we live primarily the welcome. People can participate in our prayerwe have spirituality meetings, meetings with young people.

The Pope asks monasteries to be torches that light the way, ports to orient the boats that are lost in the stormy sea. I don’t feel distant from people, on the contrary. Many people call us, write to us and today perhaps more than ever. They believe so much in our mission which is to pray, to have time for God”.

cloister.  redemptorist nuns scala

Clausura: pro Orantibus Day, a great gift

In this sense, today, the Pro Orantibus Day, established by Pius XII in 1953 in the liturgical memory of the presentation of Mary Most Holy in the Temple, “is a great gift”.

«Usually – explains Sister Lodovica – it is we who pray for all the needs of the world. But the contemplative life also needs prayer because, as in all life choices, there are different temptations.

Not only. «Today the contemplative life is asked not so much for perseverance as for creative fidelity, this response of love which seeks to be concrete in today’s world. And it’s not easy because there are so many challenges and the world is going fast. We say that in the Monastery things happen slowly, at least 10 years late. We ask ourselves how we can be a sign for this world which runs, which often seeks God in an unconscious way and how to show his face”.

Listen to the interview with Sister Lodovica

Closure: “Embrace and creative fidelity”. Sister Lodovica’s testimony